PENTAX K100D with 18-55mm digi lens
I bought a Pentax 1stD body when they first came out, having a number of Pentax APO lenses, and it seemed sensible to buy a Pentax body and utilise the lenses I had,with a 50% increase in focal length (400mm becomes 600mm with a digi body), rather than go for a new package Canon/Nikon and the cost involved.
Though results with the 1st were very good, and some excellent I was not totally satisfied with the results. I tend to photograph wildlife, birds in particular, and aircraft. Both require a large apature F5.6 or lower and a fast shutter speed.
PENTAX K100D - Review
My daughters boyfriend has a Canon with 300mm Ultasonic focus and IMAGE STABILISATION produced some excellent wildlife shots from South Africa.
I bought a K100D because it had the SHAKE REDUCTION and thought it might help, and IT DOES!! Comparisons now are against the Pentax 1st.
The first thing you notice is the larger 2 inch display and all controls and settings revolve around ONE wheel instead of 2, together with the usual menu / info button etc
I have found, and it may just be me, that both Pentax require the AV exposure value increasing by +0.5 to optimise
The SHAKE REDUCTION works! - hand held, 1/15th second exposure, natural light-no flash -portrait shot of my Granddaughter - crystal sharp!
There is also a noticable improvement in sharpness while panning with aircraft, though it is not the panicea for no blurred pictures!. The bottom line is if all factors come together, including the SR, then the improvement over the 1st is significant.
The 18-55 mm SMC Pentax DA which comes as standard is more than adequate for the job, in fact it is the only Digital lens I have, the rest are from my film camera, a SIGMA 70-300mm APO with macro, and a SIGMA 170-500mm APO. Both lenses give excellent results and caleirate to the K100D's exposure settings well.
The flash automatically pops up if needed and has given good and correct exposure on all occasions. One word of caution with flash. The camera fits to the hand well, so much so that the tendancy is to stick a finger on your left hand in front of it! - I couldn't work out initially why I was getting dark patches on the first flash pictures
I shoot all my images in RAW format. The PENTAX PHOTO BROWSER software converts them to JPEG format very quickly. Show all the RAW files in the browser, Press CTRL A to select all - Tools menu - convert to JPEG - 15 seconds the lot!
The 2 Gb SD card that came with the camera enabled me to take 350 RAW images on a recent Ireland trip before it was full. Downloading to computer takes a few minutes. I bought a SanDisk Ultra 2 -4gb SD card but it doesn't appear to be compatable with the K100D - stick to 2Gb and it should work.
One negative point . Both the K100D and the 1stD use AA rechargables and they last well (2600mha NmH). The 1stD has an extra battery pack holder(accessory) which screws to its base and effectively gives you 8 AA batteries to call on plus extra control buttons.
This is NOT compatable with the K100D, which is a shame. Carrying an extra pack of batteries is no hardship,
ADDED - I now USE RCR-V3 LI-ION batteries(x2) THEY LAST A WHOLE AIRSHOW :-)
The K100D does everything I've asked the 1stD to do with equal or better results. The SHAKE REDUCTION is a big plus and DOES WORK- but don't expect never to have a blurred picture.
It represents EXCELLENT value for money if you already have PENTAX lenses
USE with RCR-V3 LI-ION batteries for best value
35 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Pentax K100D DSLR from a film users viewpoint!
Review for: Pentax K100D Super 6.1 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Body only)
The Pentax K100D is (or was) marketed as an entry level DSLR, but don't be fooled by this, it is a truly capable camera with lots of pro features.
The entry level/semi-pro tag seems to have been applied simply because of the amount of plastic used. More than other expensive Pentax models which are aimed at the (often) physically tougher life of a pro-camera.
In fact it is only the external casings that are plastic, the camera internals are built onto a metal chassis. So perhaps they are tougher than first impressions suggest! It is still a light camera though, I have several lenses which weigh more.
The 6.1 Mpx is more than enough resolution for 99% of photograpy. Few pictures are going to be printed three times the size of your PC monitor, and those that are (on billboards!) are not viewed closely enough for it to matter. Also, the physical limitations of lens resolution make much more almost pointless for most digital cameras with their comparatively small sensors.
There are plenty of options for setting up colour balance etc, and speed settings go to 3200, which is faster than the later K110D.
It also has an option for allowing the use of earlier manual focus and manual aperture lenses. In practice all you need to do to use your older manual lenses is to switch off auto-focusing, and tell the camera that you want to use an aperture ring.
Backwards compatibility with older equipment is in fact excellent. You can use screw-mount lenses with an adapter, and no trouble. I have used the adapter that I got for my old manual Pentax's and it works fine. The lenses are used stopped down, with manual metering in 'preview mode' conveniently operated by an extra position on the on-off swithch. The AF indicator also works with manual focus lenses and is a handy check!
A very useful feature, and the one that clinched it for me, is the Shake Reduction feature. Shake reduction technology moves the picture sensor, so everything is built into the camera body. Almost any lens can benefit from shake reduction, just tell the camera the focal length. (Tip... Add any extension if using tubes.) I have used 400mm lenses on mine handheld at 1/15th without noticable shake! So if you do a lot of low-light photography.... The menu is easily acessed, so zoom lenses can be used with little trouble too.
As well as CR-V3 lithiums, it can use AA size batteries which are easily available. The only downside is that it considers a battery dead at a voltage at which NiMH rechargeables still have plenty of life left in them. So when using them you don't get quite as many pictures as you might expect before recharging. Big deal, buy two sets and a rapid charger!
(The manual warns against using lithium rechargeables as these can provide too many volts. Although 'regulated' lithium batteries can be obtained which limit the maximum votage to 3V, it is difficult to be sure untill after you have bought them, which may be too late. Most battery sellers are not battery experts. Do not rely on their word!)
With a 1G SD card it will store around 94 pictures in RAW format, lot's more in JPEG. The software provided works best on RAW files, even pulling respectable images out of some very hazy shots taken at an airshow which unprocessed looked blank. So use RAW if you can!
There is not enough space for all the good stuff, but I am a dyed-in-the-wool film camera user, I don't like digital on principle. But I like this camera. Nuff said!
38 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Pentax K100D personal review with ref. to Nikon d40
It is a lovely camera! Its large sensor produces very nice quality picture, better than any pocket size camera with its smaller sensor. The viewfinder is good size and the camera is a pleasure to use! It meters the light generally very well (of course, sometimes you have to interpret the conditions and, if needed, exposure or contrast can also be adjusted in the Photoshop). It also meters the light very well when using the camera's little flash. My rechargeable AA batteries last really long. I very much like the 'digital preview' button that i sometimes use to check the exposure without recording an image.
I had a few old Pentax lenses that could be mounted on my 'k100d'. But, to me personally, my old 50mm Pentax lens was a bit too long and so i decided to buy a 28mm lens (which on this camera/sensor size equals to 42mm focal length on 35mm size sensor). If anyone is interested, Pentax 28mm manual lenses are inexpensive, they cost around £20 - £30; auto-focus ones are a little more difficult to find and are more expensive (i bought my 'smc 28mm Pentax-F' on uk-ebay for £125).
It is true, i think, that the camera's shutter/mirror is a little loud. Not so much of a problem though. If one needs a quiet operation, some rangefinder or a pocket size digital camera perhaps would be a good choice.
I previously used Nikon D40 digital camera and i also like it very much. Operation controls and menu system in D40, to me, is very nice - very simple, easy to use. And it is lighter than the Pentax k100d. However, D40 has smaller viewfinder, and, if i am right (???!), you only have a choice of zoom auto-focus lenses (not tinier fixed focal length ones). For this reason i chose the Pentax, otherwise i would have prefered the lighter and LESS sofisticated Nikon d40. Maybe. And if there existed a pocket size camera with as big the sensor ("Sigma dp1 / 2" is too expensive at the moment!), i would choose it over a slr.
To conclude, Pentax k100d, from my experience, is a very good camera. The image quality is just brilliant (6x7 or large format film would too be different and would require/induce a different approach to photography). k100d's 6MP sensor produces big enough output to print lovely images at 8x12" (or slightly bigger). But showing them as a slide projection is also, i think, a fantastic option.
Just to finish, here are a few links to interesting (and free) online photography magazines: http://seesawmagazine.com/ http://www.lensculture.com/
Sorry for some difficult sentences.
All the best!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Pentax K100D Digital Camera
The Pentax K 100D camera is the ideal camera for the digital beginner, but dont worry its also very good for the more serious photographer, having Pentax`s quality build and an excellent 18mm - 55mm Super Takumar lens as standard.This camera is very user friendly having the anti shake function is a great bonus allowing a wider range of shot situations without complicated changes.I have owned a few Pentax cameras in the past but the K100D outclasses them all.Its worth shopping around for prices many shops are selling for £450, I managed an E-Bay bargain for £285, this represents excellent value for money for a brand new digital camera complete with a 2gb memory card, after researching a number of options the K100d came out on tops for me.I recently visited the London Eye and managed some quality pictures even taken through the pods curved glass screen.Weight ratio is perfect , with just the right balance, even with a 300mm zoom lens fitted. I would certainly buy one again , but I think this one will outlast me.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Review for: Pentax K100D Super 6.1 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Body only)
I love this camera, very easy to use and the results are good quality. It is only six mp but that would only bother me if I were intending to produce massive prints of my pictures, which I am not.
I had already decided that i would buy a pentax dslr from the low down from a camera magazine, this was not my number one choice model, but I am very very pleased with it.
It will last me for years as everything is there, anti - shake, built in flash with fittings for a flash gun, manual and automatic controls, it is a well thought out camera, a bit on the heavy side in weight so if you have more of a slight frame you might want to think about a lighter model or make.
It isn't waterproof unfortunately, that is the only draw back I can think of.
Brilliant camera overall, I am very pleased with it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.